The University of Alabama’s “Quidditch on the Quad” tournament made headlines over the last two years. This spring, Quidditch will return to the Capstone, but will no longer be on the Quad.
John McDonough, the Quidditch coordinator for the Honors College Assembly, said “Quidditch on the Quad” has become “Quidditch at the Capstone” because it will be held on the Recreation Center fields instead, which will open up more opportunities for the event.
“At the heart of this event is a sport tournament, and the Rec Center fields, where we are hosting the event, are a lot safer and better equipped for sport,” McDonough said. “The Quad is obviously a very important and protected center of campus. Moving to the Rec fields allows us a little more freedom.”
McDonough said the main reason for the move came as a result of the previous Quidditch on the Quad tournaments interfering with the everyday workings of the University and safety concerns regarding the buildings surrounding the Quad.
“As fun as snitches running through the library and scaling its exterior are, it is a gigantic disruption to students actually studying there and most importantly a huge safety concern,” McDonough said.
The event was moved from the fall to the spring because the HCA did not want to interfere with football season, Olivia West, vice president of the HCA, said.
Because a grounds permit has not been cleared yet, McDonough and West said they cannot specify the exact dates of the tournament, which is projected to be held in mid-April and take place throughout the week in the evening.
“I don’t think many people know, but organized sporting events are strictly forbidden on the Quad, according to the grounds rules,” West said. “Since Quidditch is sort of an ambiguous event, being part sport, part festival, it has gotten around this rule in years past.”
Quidditch first came to the Capstone in fall 2010 and was originally hosted by Creative Campus. This year, the event will be hosted by the HCA and feature major changes including its location.
“The event is getting a major face-lift,” McDonough said. “Instead of one night of preliminary matches culminating in a 6-hour tournament day, Quidditch at the Capstone is a week-long tournament culminating in our World Cup Finals festival. Each day of the week will feature preliminary matches as well as themed entertainment and activities.”
Naomi Thompson, a third-year intern at Creative Campus, said Creative Campus wanted popular events to be passed down to organizations who have more resources to take care of them.
“We love the Honors College Assembly and know that their organization has the manpower, ingenuity and imagination to make Quidditch better than ever,” Thompson said.
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